Author Archive

Detachment in Fiction From Fleur Jaeggy and Jean Genet

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Fleur Jaeggy’s fiction works, two short novels and two short story collections, are marked with a quiet violence and a very particular brand of detachment.

Elena Ferrante & the Condition of a Woman’s Body

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
In corporeal and metaphysical terms, Ferrante’s girls and women are made porous and penetrable, pervious and vulnerable, in ways that raise questions regarding the contemporary status of a woman’s body, and the modes of resistance we might fashion in changing its position.

The Shape of Desire

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
When confronted with relentless male longing, there is nothing so spectacular about female flesh: human or animal, it answers to the same name.

Poetic Counterpoints: Emmanuelle Guattari’s I, Little Asylum

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
In I, Little Asylum, Emmanuelle Guattari reflects on her childhood at La Borde, an experimental psychiatric clinic founded in 1951 in the Loire Valley, France. Are the textures of this novel cum memoir particular to its setting? Can we detect in the book’s rhythm and style anything that directly

Abiding Cruelty in Marianne Fritz’s The Weight of Things

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Translated from German into English in 2015, Austrian author Marianne Fritz’s The Weight of Things presents domesticity and motherhood as intolerable, even unbearable, in the aftermath of the Second World War.

The End of January: Suicide and Rape in Nothing Holds Back the Night

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Having discovered her mother’s body several days after her suicide, Delphine de Vigan is moved to write not only her own recollections of her mother, but to graft a whole context for a woman who repeatedly came together and apart in Nothing Holds Back the Night.

Expired Futures in Ali Smith’s Autumn

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Written in the immediate aftermath of Brexit, Ali Smith’s Autumn questions how ripping up common ground in favour of enhanced borders reverberates through time and into living human bodies.

Splintered Selves and Sexual Abuse in Dorothy Nelson’s In Night’s City

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Set in 1970s Ireland, Dorothy Nelson’s In Night’s City is an obscure, deceptively slim book. Unofficial predecessor to Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-formed Thing, the novel charts Sara’s attempts to assimilate sexual abuse, suffering, and shame.

Creative Thought and Chronic Pain

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Chronic pain necessitates time spent alone, and so seems a natural conduit for loneliness. This doesn’t signal immediate alarm for the writer, who excels in spending time alone. But is there a more insidious, pervasive relationship between chronic pain and the writing process? How does it alter the texture

Writing as Mourning in Kate Zambreno’s Book of Mutter

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
In Book of Mutter, Zambreno writes, “It is something ineffable about my mother that I search for.” This search, conducted over the thirteen years since Zambreno’s mother’s death, manifests in a fusion of memoir, essay, and meditation, and suggests how writing might embody the lifelong process of mourning a